5/29/2006

Memorial Day

I'm going up to "silent city" this morning as I have for almost all of the years since I retired from the Navy 31 years ago. I go by myself because I don't like to get caught weeping in public. I wind up doing that every time when I get to thinking of all the millions of guys who died defending the US from all who would like to see this one of a kind Democracy eradicated from the face of the earth. Most all of them faced the wars they were going to fight with misgivings as to whether they would ever see their loved ones again. And millions of them didn't. But still they went, and because of them we are able to enjoy to the fullest, the best standard of living and the most freedoms of all kinds,speech, demonstrations without fear of death, religions of all types that go unpersecuted because you dare to practice them. You can rise to the limits of your ability in this country because of those "Defenders of Liberty" and their ultimate sacrifice.

So on this Day, take a minute to bow your head and reflect on just how lucky you were to be born in this country and why it is that so many also want to be a part of this "Grand Experiment"!

I came across this piece on the net and thought it described accurately the feelings of those left behind after a husband, son, or father had given their all to the "CAUSE" of freedom. I say, "Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and soul"!

THIS IS NOT SATIRE

She places the stems in the green plastic vase, and lightly pushes the blooms around until six colors work together. She approaches the stone, careful to avoid treading on the area directly before it. She pushes the spiked end of the vase into the rain-softened soil next to the stone. Her fingers flit across the petals, making slight adjustments, until she brings unity from diversity again. It pleases her to do so. She groans faintly as she stands straight. She steps back to take in the picture. A stone. Brightly dying flowers. Green grass.

Around her, perfect rows of identical stones radiate out, so it seems, from this one. As if they all come together at this point.

“It’s a shame the children can’t be here. Busy lives. They have grown children of their own, lives of their own.”

“I wonder what it would have been like to raise those children with you? To sit next to you at graduation, holding your hand? To see your face when your son said they had named the baby after you? To grow old with you? To trade places, leaving you to stand talking to a stone in a field of stones?”

“It’s a national holiday, you know. We’re remembering the sacrifice of all of them.”

“But I didn’t know the others. I knew you.”

“And I can’t remember the sacrifice. It’s not in the past yet. Because you’re gone, the sacrifice lives on. For me, it’s not a national holiday. It’s your day. It’s my day.”

“Sixty two years I’ve come on this day to say these hard words. It takes me all year to recover the strength to say them again.”

“Thank you.”

“And just in case I don’t make it back next year…”

“Thank you.”

TIFN.

2 comments:

good listener said...

Thanks for the reality check

dale said...

Thank Everett for the Memorial Day message. It was good this weekend also to see the flags flying over the little valley by Cooneymus and West Side Rd. and remember.

By the way, thanks for your service at the school. People sometimes forget about the effort that goes into maintaining a facility, concentrating on the construction aspects only.